Category Archives: PJ_Post

Found an old traditional Motel on Highway 50, clean, well kept and cheap, my favorite combination. Temperature outside is a hot 104F, definately not camping weather.

Tomorrow will be the official start of the road trip from this gate town of Los Animas, heading towards the mountains, Pueblo and hopefully some cooler weathe



First day heading to Utah.

Made it to Hannibal, Missouri, 95 degrees. This area is void of traditional motels and the ones that are left are mostly rentals so it’s hard to find a room.
Will camp rest of the trip. Old towns some surviving better than others.
People left behind a different world.

A trip to UTAH

Thanks for the 21 years that Prairie Joe’s has been opened. It’s that time of the year we take a vacation as this restaurant always has done since 1954.

At first many of our new customers thought that it was strange that a business actually would close for vacation, however at the “olden” times many independent business’ use to close for vacation, as that would be the only time they could take a break from work.

Many of our customers also go on vacation at the same time almost as if we all synchronize our time together which has made a nice tradition over the years.

The concept of having holidays or taking a vacation is not new. Now used by some business’ as a PR ad. Ultimately some old ideas are still good ideas.

So August 5th through 19th we’ll be gone and hopefully come back with some new ideas and a fresh outlook.

Thank you.

One Location

At one time I thought of opening a second location for Prairie Joe’s. However I realized then it would become a business. I never saw Prairie Joe’s as a business. More like a show, a live show with exhibits,  and  food service, which in fact was part of the show.

Luckily the food segment of the show brought in people so the show could run for 21 years. In my mind it still is a show not a business. However if you ask my wife she will say otherwise, she handles all the finances.

So another year done

We are almost done with our 21st year thanks to our customers.  This year has been our best so far that without any advertising or media write ups. So we know it is ultimately our customers that matter more than anything else. 

Going out to eat myself, I find it is not only about having the “best” or eating at the trendiest, but rather being liked by the establishment you are eating at. It is not about the place it is about the customer.

In my close to 40 years in this business I have seen the restaurant scene go from a pleasant dinner out to a frenzy of trends, attitudes, TV shows, blogs, “everybody is a critic” sites, celebrity chefs, new foods and styles. In short an explosion of the restaurant scene. Good and not so good.

Good that our options have increased and there is a lot of good food out there, bad that as a customer we want to be awed, want the best, to be challenged and to instantly be a critic. However it is still a dinner out, a time to relax and enjoy.

Recently a good customer asked of our biscuits and gravy was awesome, the best.  I replied,  no,  it is not the best, it is good and that is good enough,  he has ordered them twice since then.

I am lucky to have Prairie Joe’s and my customers where I do my own thing and have a following that seems to appreciate it, we are well known not by the media of any kind but by word of mouth. I guess this statement in a food blog summed it up for me “Prairie Joe’s is a decent place but has never caught on”. Exactly by whom?

Thanks for coming to Prairie Joe’s.




Three in the mornings is good as any time to think about Saturday specials. After thirty years of  cooking I am having some sense of pre-planning so at thjis time I wont be wondering what the heck I am going to cook, although that part is not quiet shut off yet, so mostly I know what specials I am going to do.

From childhood to adulthood

It is amazing that many of our customers were babies or not even born when we first opened and now are in their twenties. We have been part of their life for that long and us theirs.


Prairie Joe’s is open for dinner

We had a great response for dinner. Many customers happy to see an alternative to a bar scene where the pace is more calm and the food more interesting.

The challenge for us will be to do business without serving alcohol as the trend towards dining now is serving many varieties of drinks.

One finds even the most family oriented eating places resort to serving beer or drinks to capture that market . To buck that trend we are going to introduce more eating options.

Open for dinner

Once again by popular demand we are open for dinner with a little different concept and menu.

First we are using a new name for dinner, “the Real Joe’s” who actually is my son who will be running the dinner segment of Prairie Joe’s under a new concept.

The concept is a menu of specialized sandwiches and shakes with special sides.

Some examples are the popular Greek BLT, a thick slabs of bacon with balck olive mayo, feta on Greek toast, a preffered side is the Greek fries and the lentil beet salad.

This is new for us, however we have received very favorable reviews from our customers and hope you try us soon too.

Prairie Joe’s at night is “the Real Joe’s”

Restaurant Depot

Restaurant depot is literally where restaurant buy. Located in Des Plaines it is a huge warehouse where one can buy thousands of food products. The feeling is raw as you see a flurry of activity as many restaurant people are buying products for their business’, many from different ethnic backgrounds.

The picture is much different from the world of restaurant articles in papers, blogs etc. This scene is one of where dedicated people are making a living at many locations throughout the Chicagoland area serving their customers they in and they out under the radar of the whole restaurant scene.